How Long To Keep Medical Billing Records?

Editorial Team

Updated on:

Medical billing is the key asset for the financial support of the health care industry. Medical billing is a critically important component of the health care industry. This article highlights some crucial medical billing practices to secure the medical billing records and the types of services available to ensure the best scrutiny features in your medical billing staff or company, that will not only endow best physician reimbursements for the services rendered but also an objective approach to keep the medical billing records.

There are different laws for retaining medical billing records in different states. However, there are some de facto standards that can help you to smartly store and organize your billing records and make a room for the new one.

It is recommended by business attorney or state medical board for retention laws on billing and insurance records, that physicians should keep up with their medical billing records for at least seven years.

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How To Store The Medical Billing Records?

However, the physicians should review, extract, and photocopy any information that they might require from that record and then return the original documents to the patient. Be aware, that if the physicians accommodate all of the patient’s medical records then they could be held legally responsible for information related to the other specialties.

Inactive medical billing records may be dispersed from the active patient cases and stored outside the office suite. Take the following factors under consideration while managing medical billing records for long-term storage:

  • Privacy:

Always make sure that the records must be protected from unauthorized access in a manner that is consistent with federal and state privacy laws.

  • Safety: 

Keep the records be protected from fire or flood damage and from unauthorized person’s access or theft issues.

  • Accessibility:

Define and up thrust the extent of access to the medical records, always prevent your records from surplus access. 

Telephone calls that are relevant to health care officials should be documented in the medical record and their record must be kept according to the above-referenced medical record custody guidelines. 

If you don’t have trained staff of medical billing and coding specialists to maintain and keep the accountability of the records then you can restrain by storing the massive records by yourself, as you can also remove the copies of other healthcare providers’ medical records, such as hospital records, because the original documents will be maintained by the hospitals, but the better approach is to outsource your health care services.

The Time Period For Different Medical Records:

Following is the required standard time for the patients to keep their medical billing records.

  • Adult patients:

Adult patients should keep their medical billing records for 10 years from the date of the patient’s last visit to any health care facility.

  • Minor patients:

Minor patients should hold their medical billing records for 28 years from the patient’s birth.

  • Deceased patients:

Medical billing records of deceased patients should be kept for five years by their descendants from their date of death.


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